Writing Despite The Curve Balls Life Throws At You… Rita Fitzpatrick

No matter what, you should always find time for creative endeavours… or, at the very least, make time for doing things that make you happy (unless you’re a serial killer—in that case, this pep-talk isn’t aimed at you).

I know this sounds obvious—there are a tonne of pithy quotes about living life to the fullest that we all recognise and identify with—but given the gazillion things most of us have going on, sometimes we need a little reminder… and that kick up the arse is usually an unpleasant breaking point.

Still, there’s something to be said for a good old-fashioned melt-down. I’m not talking about a clinically diagnosed, pill popping crisis (they’re a different beast entirely—one that needs more than just a comforting cuddle and a tub of ice-cream). I’m talking about those mini-melt-downs in life where you’ve been trying to spin an entire dinner-set of plates, you lose concentration, one slips and before you know it, the sound of breaking crockery fills the empty room—along with your wailing sobs of defeat and dejection.

It happened to me recently. Obviously, I’m speaking metaphorically. I’m not a literal plate-spinner—unless the husband has said something controversial during that ‘time of the month’ and I’m launching his dinner out the back door like a frisbee throwing champion.

This time, I had more plates spinning than were comfortable when a final, rather large-sized drama-dish, was handed to me, and I dropped the lot.

In the aftermath, beyond Mum/Wife and working the day-job I struggled to find time to do anything else; writing had already been on the backburner for a few weeks because, like all good multitaskers, I’d prioritised my workload. And, I felt like a double failure for it.

However, being a silver-lining kind of girl, with all crap-tastic events I like to dissect and understand the ‘what went wrongs’ so I can implement damage control for future mishaps… or at least try. Given my Dory-like-memory, it often takes a good few melt-downs before a pattern emerges.

And so, in a pool of tears and snot, an ‘Ah ha!’ moment was finally unveiled.

As I don’t possess the finesses or spiritual intellect of a shamanic guru, it wasn’t a particularly prophetic moment. And it certainly wasn’t anything that would lead me to avoid any challenges in the future—we don’t live in a bubble and life will always have its tricks. But it did make me realise a few home-truths about my (metaphorical) plate-spinning:

  • I am a master at pulling excuses from my behind.
  • I cannot control anything beyond me.

For a lot of writers, trying to commit words to paper whilst multi-tasking another half-dozen different life roles can be tough. So-much-so, there are times when priorities get ranked, and reading a book or writing fiction slips down the ladder of importance.

After all, we need to eat and fulfil our commitments to others; so, we put practicalities first and the pursuit of personal pleasures later.

I’d justified my no-show at the writing desk with the lack of time. I’d prioritised, and still been unable to cope with life lobbying its bricks-of-trouble at me. My knee-jerk reaction was to concede defeat and admit that I lacked the skills and tenacity of a real writer.

Codswallop. Real writers learn from mistakes and move on. They don’t wallow in the stinky pot of self-pity. None of us can change external forces… unless you’re Superman. Shit happens to us all.

But when you’ve skimmed all the fun of life to make time for the necessities and your plates (inevitably) come crashing down, there’s only one place you’re headed for destination despair.

How do we avoid it, or, at the very least cushion its landing?

By fulfilling those creative pleasures. What’s life if we’re too preoccupied in the mundane and stressful? Things will always go wrong; the car will break down; your health won’t always be tiptop; people will let you down and your relationships won’t always be the concrete pillars you thought they were.

Don’t wait for that rare moment of calmness to do the things you love. It’s likely to never come. You have to make time—even for just a few minutes a day. It won’t change things you’ve no control over, but it will make the moments between a hell of a lot sweeter.

Life is short, live it well. And spin those plates without worry—breakages can always be fixed.

rita

http://www.ritafitzpatrick.com/

Rita writes dark romantic urban fantasy novels set in the UK. A 2016 finalist in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence for Unpublished writers, she loves nothing more than to create witty and flawed characters with difficult choices and destinies.

 Rita a military wife now finally  lives in  Somerset, in the South West of England.  
Having worked in care, education, catering and retail, Rita finally found her dream day job at a library. In between helping borrowers and running groups for children, she spends most of her time trying to sneak-in quick reads at the sci-fi, fantasy, romance and YA sections.  

Like most people, Rita has hobbies and interests (it’s safe to say, writing about herself in the third person isn’t one of them); when she’s not working, writing, reading and reminding  Rita delves into music and art: listening to an eclectic mix of genres on her iPod, annoying her family with her terrible renditions of Debussy and Bach on the piano, and scrolling through illustrations and paintings.
  

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Author: loganivy

FIRST THINGS FIRST Simply put I am here because I love books... I am extremely passionate about stories especially those steeped in mythical folklore, ancient myths, and legends and suffused with the magic of unique realms and supernatural worlds. I believe there is an alternate universe where magic, mysticism, and wonder still exist, a world where no reality is impossible. Discovering ourselves is an ongoing journey. From reading the next logical step was writing. I am the author of ‘The Breach’, an upcoming supernatural fantasy.For when I write about these worlds I become a part of them and learn more about myself each day. A PEEK INTO MY SOUL I am a realist but at the same time also a dreamer. To me, reading is a window into the hearts of others . Writing is the window to my imagination drawing from my glimpses of the world around me. The beauty of writing lies in the mind’s eye – what we see, the way we interpret it and finally how we translate it to paper. HOW I VIEW MY CHARACTERS To me, every character is multi-dimensional. There is no mere black or white perspective to a character. If a person is strong, we have to delve into what contributed to making them that way? Similarly, what are the fears, likes and loves of a character. That is what makes each one of them unique. It makes them what they are. No character should be just a filler in a story. If a character is evil, why is he or she that way? If a male character is not the central focus of a story, if he is okay with the girl in his life taking center stage I don’t see him as weak. I think he is a great guy and the kind that any girl would be lucky to have in their lives. Looking for the prince who rescues you from the dragon or the lecherous villain should be passé. Real men may not have muscles but they have good hearts. I write about such princes, the guys who are also okay with the girl playing hero in their life, being rescued by them too. I love reading and writing about girls and women with flaws because all real women are that way. Not the most beautiful, not the bravest, not the thinnest nor the richest. They find strength in their family, in their love. My girls do not compete against men; only circumstances and the challenges they throw up. The men who support them, stand by them are the ones I like to read and write about. Through this blog I hope to share more about inspirational characters and the beauty and richness a book contains. MY INSPIRATION Is it possible to cherish and to love something all your life without really analyzing it or understanding why? ‘Stories’ fired my imagination since I was a child….it started with my father, who would spend thirty minutes each night weaving supernatural tales of troubled ghosts in a bid to awe, shock and above all bond with his daughters. He never realized and neither did I that he was also weaving those little quirks into my personality that later on in life would go ahead and set me apart. During class breaks in school, I would share the same tales with the class, now adding my own embellishments, peaks, and lows so as to hold their attention and leave them shouting for more. As my dad got busier and we got a little older the stories seemed to have trickled off but not before transferring that hook for the beginning, the narration, the mystery and the spectacular end. Books and Movies became my magical time machines capable of drawing, pulling, and holding me. Friends and colleagues would decide to read books or watch movies after I brought to life with words what I read or saw on screen. Even love came to me through books when the first time I met my husband we fell in love over a discussion on ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’. One day I realized what I should have known all along – Stories; they lived in my soul. I had worlds to create, people waiting to be brought to life and stories to share. So I share what I love.

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